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Global Best Practices for Sharps Take-Back Programs - Webinar Recording

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Global Best Practices for Sharps Take-Back Programs
Thursday, November 29, 2018, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm EST / 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm CET

Part of PSI’s Global Webinar Series: Sparking Conversations, Building Networks


More than 16 billion injections are administered annually worldwide, generating tons of waste medical “sharps” (disposable needles, syringes, and lancets). While sharps are a safe and convenient way to inject medications outside traditional health care settings, people often discard them in household or public trash receptacles or flush them down the toilet. These disposal methods put the public, sanitation and hospitality workers, and waste management personnel in danger of injury and infectious disease. Loose sharps also create costly maintenance problems when they jam recycling and waste management equipment.

Take-back programs are a convenient, cost-effective approach to safely manage sharps waste. On this webinar, speakers from the U.S., Canada, and France will discuss global best practices for sharps take-back programs. They will describe the policies behind their programs; explain how the programs collect and manage sharps; and discuss program costs, public awareness, consumer convenience, program performance, key challenges, and lessons learned. The webinar will include ample time for questions and will be the start of an ongoing global conversation about managing sharps.

Sponsored by:


Vivian Fuhrman, PhD

Senior Associate for Policy and Programs, Product Stewardship Institute, United States

Dr. Vivian Fuhrman is a Senior Associate for Policy and Programs at the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) where she heads up work on safe disposal of pharmaceuticals and medical sharps. She has worked on stewardship policy, led drug take-back pilots, run educational campaigns on safe disposal, and facilitated stakeholder meetings across the US, and increasingly across the globe. Before coming to PSI, Vivian earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Risk and Policy (focused on endocrine disrupting chemicals in the aquatic environment) from Ben Gurion University in Israel, building on a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University and a Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ginette Vanasse

Director General, Health Products Stewardship Association, Canada

Ginette Vanasse joined the Health Products Stewardship Association in 2004 and has over 20 years’ experience in the managing of not-for-profit organizations. Today the association representing the Health Products Industries oversee four medications stewardship programs and two medical sharps collection programs with a budget of over 4.6 million. In her capacity as Director General, Ginette is part of the team that has guided the development of stewardship programs in Canada. Over the years, she has focused on funding mechanism, assessing risks, internal audits and implementing business solutions to fit regulatory framework. Her professionalism, versatility, understanding of the issues and analytic ability have allow her to serve this industry.


Laurence Bouret

Chief Executive Officer, DASTRI, France

Laurence Bouret, CEO of DASTRI, has been a waste management expert for 15 years.  She started her career in the public sector (local authority) before joining the car industry. She dedicated 5 years to her children before developing— alongside Jacques Pelissard, former MP and former President of the French Mayor’s Association— the first national resource center for Waste Management. Since 2013 she manages a unique non profit EPR program called DASTRI. Financed by the health industry and approved by 3 Ministries, DASTRI is a network of 18000 collection points offering to homecare patients a safe solution for their sharps*. She is also a member of the National Commission for EPR programs in France and has engaged a long term thinking with all stakeholders about the future of EPR programs facing challenges such as the move toward ambulatory care or the development of connected medical devices.
*So far DASTRI has distributed 10 million sharp containers and collected about 4 billion of used medical devices.


Scott Cassel (Moderator)

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Product Stewardship Institute, United States

Scott Cassel has over 30 years of experience tackling waste management issues in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Prior to founding the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) in 2000, he served seven years as the Director of Waste Policy and Planning for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where he developed and implemented solid and hazardous waste management policies and programs. Scott is a nationally renowned leader in the product stewardship movement and has experience across multiple product categories, including electronics, lamps, thermostats, pharmaceuticals, mattresses, packaging, and paint. As PSI’s CEO, he developed the widely acclaimed facilitation process that the organization uses for stakeholder engagement and consensus-building—a process that resulted in the nation’s first industry-run, government-mandated paint stewardship program.